Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I HATE cleaning. I have always hated cleaning. For the last 8-9 years I have actually paid someone weekly to come by and clean my house. She was my first bad habit to go when I cut my hours. So now, I am the official house cleaner (with the exception of some child labor, which, while good for teaching work ethic, isn't really good for actual cleaning). I was doing some deep cleaning a few weeks ago and was again so impressed by the following cleaning product that I just HAD to share the information. A housekeeper that I had several years ago asked me to pick up some of these cleaners for her to use. I admit that I never actually used them more than once. But I remember the one time that I did use it being very impressed by its cleaning action. HOWEVER, in my cleaning escapade a few weeks ago, I was again blown away by this products amazing ease to use and it's incredible job in cleaning! Please proceed!!

This is my new secret weapon--Mr. Clean magic erasers!! Beware: the photos you are about to see may be disturbing. Viewer discretion advised. Yes, I knowingly tolerated these living conditions in my home! Hope you continue to love me in spite of it!
This yummy view is from my back porch lookin' in. The door that the children and the grease monkey use exclusively. Apparently, no one can use the door knob for closing the door!

The bottom of the porch closet. Note the cool markings that shoes thrown AT the closet will make as they hit the door, rather than the small opening that they were aimed at.

OOOH! The bottom of the bathroom door that the animals. . .er--children utilize.

The ammunition--the top sponge is unused. The bottom sponge is one that has been in the active line of cleaning duties. These sponges waste away--literally as you clean. You simply rub your mess, occasionally cleanse off the filth with water, and return him to the work zone.

OOOOOH--the bathroom door--CLEAN

AAAAAHH. The closet doors--CLEAN

Oh, my--my back porch lookin' in--CLEEEAAAANN!
So there you have it!! A wonderful product to simplify and beautify your lives! I don't know how these little devils clean so well with so little manual scrubbin'--but then again I really don't want to know either (ignorance is bliss, and ignorance doesn't cause cancer!) I do know that IF you have little guys around--you don't want them to be handling or chewing on them--much like anything else you would CLEAN with--Duh!
But don't take my word for it-RUN to your nearest store and buy one for yourself!
Happy cleaning!

Monday, March 29, 2010


How many more teeth can a little 7 year old fella lose before hot dogs are off the menu??

I don't know, but I sure hope we don't have to find out!!

At this rate, the tooth fairy is going to have to take out a loan!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Now We're Talking!

Delicious warm air
Radiant sunshine kissing the nape of my neck as I'm bent over my work
Slight breeze rustling my curls

My favorite gardening gloves tucked in my back pocket
The warm crumbly soil under my fingertips
One kid that was interested in digging, and one that was NOT

An hour of hoeing and digging and placing plants and seeds ever so carefully!
The joy of standing back and admiring the work
Relaxing and directing a soft sprinkle of water while deeply inhaling the spring air
Inhaling?? Take a slow deep breath in. . .MMMMM
It don't get better than this!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


As I shared earlier this week, my favorite (OK my ONLY) sister and her family were here for a weekend visit. She brought me a birthday card that provoked me to dedicate a post just to her!!

The card read : "There is an understanding, a closeness, an easy kind of laughter, that only sisters share. Just wanted to remind you what a joy it's always been, and still is, having you for a sister. No matter what we talk about or what we do, being with you is the easiest thing in the world. You're a beautiful person, and I'm grateful to know you the way I do-as only a sister could."
I thought about that card multiple times throughout her visit--knowing that it was so true. We didn't have to talk the whole time and the silence was still comfortable. But if we chose, we could start a conversation in the middle of a thought and knew exactly what the other one was talking about. We "get" each other's neurotic OCD traits--inherited graciously from our paternal grandmother. We enjoy each other's company and laugh lots, occasionally quite loudly! We didn't ALWAYS get along terrifically, which I'm sure our mother will attest to--but we did spend a lot of time together and have great memories because of it. So, I thought as a tribute to my NOT dead sister, I would list off some of our greatest fun and memories---
Playing outside for hours in the summertime--mostly because our mother made us. We did a lot more things outside than my kids can dream up--bouncing on filled up tractor inner tubes, playing house in the hay barn--even making little tiny rooms by moving the bales around, riding bikes, and roller skating to the Beach Boys--Kristi, to this day I HATE the beach boys--and I'm sure you still love 'em!
Gangin' up on our little brothers. We used to tag team them and tie their tube socks together by the toes. . .while they were on their feet. We don't try that anymore, we would get CREAMED! We also made them play church with us, using the stairs as "pews."
Sharing a bedroom, which we HATED!! We spent countless hours trying to figure out how we could arrange the room so that we couldn't see one another and could PRETEND that we had our own room. Even though I couldn't see her, I could still hear her Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton album (Islands in the stream, that is what we are, No one in between, how can be wrong, sail away with me, to another world, and we rely on each other UHHH HUHH!--sorry, couldn't resist) You're singing aren't ya?
The trip that she made to visit me while I was in college in Hays. We did some party hopping and then ended up at some friends of J's just in time to watch them single handedly stuff a couch THROUGH the side wall of their trailer house, on purpose. Oh my--I just knew that I had corrupted her for life!

Many letters that she mailed to me after I went to college, while she was still "stuck" in high school. I still have them all in a box in my attic--the one that mom MADE me move from her attic to my attic--and enjoyed reading through them a couple years ago after my kids discovered my box.

She's my partner in crime in any family adventure that we might encounter--walks along old childhood roads, roller coaster rides, trips to the grocery store or worse yet. . duckwalls! Now our adventures include trips with our kids to the indoor pool. She's always game for anything!!

Now that we live 5 hours apart, I rarely get to see her. We are BAD with phones (in that we don't use them). With the novel invention of the internet, emails, and this blog--we do a better job of keeping up--and I know that if I email her, she is usually within an hour of answering--a comforting thought. And so, I am eternally thankful that I was blessed with a sister! One that is thoughtful, understanding, and fun to hang out with; one that I can be my silly self around (walking like the Fear Factor cast), or my serious self around (talking kids and mates); a sister that jumps into mischief with both feet (major gut turning roller coaster rides); a sister that I can blab into the wee hours with (depending on what we've been sipping) or just sit quietly with while watching life roll along.

So from one beautiful sister to another beautiful sister--I'm glad that we know and love each other only as sisters can!! Thanks for the birthday visit and the card that provokes a "right back at-cha double" from me! Love ya girl!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gardener Mishap

As you all know, I started many of my garden seeds in my greenhouse several weeks ago. I thought that you all may enjoy a mishap that I encountered in my seed starting journey. I know it always makes ME feel more human when I read about other people's STUPID mistakes, so I wanted to share my stupidity with you. I am not ashamed or embarrassed, just irritated--so laugh out loud if you like, it won't hurt my feelings. I have been starting seeds in my basement for probably 7 or 8 years now, but this is the first time to start them in a different environment (AKA my greenhouse). The only real problem that I have encountered until this year was the year that I had a mouse loose in my basement. He enjoyed mowing the little seedlings down to the dirt before we caught him! (Grant was checking that trap the morning we caught him and yelled upstairs "No mouse" right before I heard a blood curdling scream of "It's ALIVE" that occurred right before the mouse jumped out of the middle of my seedlings and ran straight into the mouse trap, catching him by the foot--we don't care HOW we catch 'em, as long as we catch 'em!) Oh yeah, AND the year that C was in the hospital with RSV and J was supposed to be tending my seedlings. We were also in the process of remodeling the kitchen. He placed my flats of seedlings on the front porch to be out of the way. Needless to say they didn't survive the early March Kansas winter night when he forgot to bring them in. Any who, this spring it seems that my seeds weren't sprouting in as timely a manner as usual. That being said, I wasn't sure if it was the seed company from which I ordered, or the temp of the greenhouse. We have it set on about 70 degrees, but peppers like really warm soil. Only a few of the tomatos had sprouted and none of the peppers or coleus--so I picked up that flat and took it to the house. In the past, I have used an old water bed heater under the flats for warmth, but all I could find this year was the heater--no cord or thermometer for it. BOOOOYYYYYYSSSSSSSS! I finally settled on putting the flat in my lower oven in the kitchen. I warmed it up and then shut the door, leaving the oven light on, so as not to forget they were in there. Two days later in the excitement and busy-ness of having extra crew to cook for, I turned the bottom oven on to cook something. About 10 minutes later upon opening the oven to put my food in, I was greeted by the odor of melting plastic. You'll notice in the above picture what a flat SHOULD look like, and in the bottom photo, what my flat NOW looks like.
Don't worry Becky, the black Krims are sprouting in the greenhouse and looking good. So there you have the saga of impatience and bubble-headed-ness!! The seeds still aren't sprouted and quite probably will NOT now. Friday morning I ran out and replanted some tomatoes and peppers, thinking that they would at least bear later rather than not at all! Live and learn baby, live and learn!
Thought I would also share a little tutorial on seed starting/transplanting just for interest.
Yesterday I transplanted some of the black eyed susans and purple coneflowers into bigger pots. I broadcast multiple seeds into my flats to be sure that they germinated well. Many of them were developing their first true set of leaves--which is when you should transplant. Above you'll see the tiny set of new leaves coming up between the first big round leaves. I used a popsicle stick as a dibble to lift the plants and their roots out of the tiny cells.
Look at those big long roots that came with the leaves. Next I just put them into a larger peat pot filled with potting soil and filled it up a little. Now they will have adequate space to get bigger and will be easier to repot again if necessary before putting them out into my new flower bed. I love purple and yellow flower combos, and both of these make excellent cut flowers--not to EVEN mention that they are great native plants in my area, and are super additions to attract bees, butterflies, and birds to the yard--all of which I happen to adore!
Now we'll just keep them watered in good, until they are ready to go outside by the first of May. HMMM if I can just get that dear guy that does ANYTHING for me, to head his trailer north for another load of rocks--I gotta finish, er. .I mean start constructing the flower bed these will go into!! Nothing like counting your chickens before they hatch!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break

This past week the boys have been out on spring break. It was a fairly warm week, until Friday when winter returned. My sister's family also had spring break this week, so they drove the 5 hours here to visit for a few days! We were excited that they were coming. The difference in them coming here and us going there is that there is a TON of stuff to do in Topeka, and very little to do here. Hopefully they weren't bored. I found it immensely enjoyable to kick back and do nothing but cook, visit, and play for two days! The kids enjoyed the weather outside on Thursday, since it was nearly 70 even when they arrived.

They played on the trampoline and the swing set. Friday morning before winter hit, they launched their rockets a few times and Kristi and I enjoyed a brisk 2 mile walk before lunch. It was getting windy and cold by early afternoon, so the rest of the day was spent inside playing play dough and games on the Wii. Kristi and I played about a million games of Yahtzee (one of our favorite childhood games!) We also enjoyed scrabble one night with the guys and some Scattorgories Friday night--we let Tristan and Grant play with us after the little ones went to bed. I was impressed that they could keep up as well as they did. We highly recommend that game--if you have never played Scattergories you have 3 minutes to come up with words to describe 12 categories starting with the letter that you have rolled on your dice. TOO FUNNY!

J and Cami were checking out the big snake
We were sure glad to find very little snow when we woke up Saturday morning, because we had planned on traveling with them as far as Wichita to enjoy lunch and playing at Exploration Place.

The roads turned out to be very good. We ate lunch at Ghenghis Grill, which is fabulous--and then enjoyed several hours inside E. P. The kids played with lots of gadgets and learning stuff.
After we parted ways, we hit a few stores for some shopping. After weeks of looking and pondering, Grant spent his birthday wad on a guitar hero set for the Wii. So far they are liking that. We also stocked up on our rocket supplies at Hobby Lobby and were pleased to find the parts 30% off this weekend! I love a good deal!

We have also been gone a fair amount of today as well. We enjoyed some real cajun cooking fixed for us after church by some good friends of ours. We had a cajun shrimp boil and shrimp etouffe, as well as lemon chess pie. MMMM! Thanks Dale! As if that wasn't enough yum for one weekend, we also enjoyed homemade chicken and noodles at Granny's house tonight. So--good thing that tomorrow is back to the exercise routine! Did I mention that we have had a LOT of dessert the last 4 days?? Well, we have had a LOOOOTTTT of dessert the past 4 days. MMMMM

Not sure if the kids are ready to get back to school tomorrow, but I am thinking that it will be a good thing! The school carnival will be this next weekend, and then the track meets start. I know that in about 2 weeks school will be out for another year. I just don't know where the time goes!

The bubble man doing his thing at Exploration Place--Now that's SOME bubble!! I actually found bubble solution and bent hangers in my showers tonight--THANKS bubble man!!

Wishing everyone a blessed week!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Just a quick little post, with no pictures, and nothing terribly exciting to say. Spring break is in full swing around our house. The boys are enjoying staying up too late, watching movies, and playing the Wii.

Saturday we got up EARLY to head for Regional 4-H day. T did his talk first. Now I have to go back a little bit and mention that we arrived a little early. We got to see the first senior talk perform. I felt a little ill when I realized that she had powerpoint slides, AND posters, as well as a number of props on her table. . .all the while thinking. . OH GREAT--all his mother sent with him was a broken BB gun and typing paper. Live and learn right? He had nearly his whole presentation memorized. Unfortunately, not long after he started, he put the wrong sentence in, which would have taken him down a path farther into his talk than he wanted to be. A sheer look of confusion and horror struck his face, which made Grant choke trying not to laugh out loud. That was it--after he re-composed and found his spot, he read much of the rest of the presentation. I was proud of him because he was little less fidgety than he was in February. The judge gave him a blue ribbon and then crossed it out and awarded him a red. T was OK with it, and so was his mom. We did have the opportunity to watch a number of other talks, which gave us some ideas, and was helpful.

G's ensemble played well and recieved a blue ribbon. They have been practicing for weeks now. Once weekly they have gathered at our house for a jam session. We all knew those songs in our sleep. We could always hear D downstairs with them tapping the metal bed frame and singing the right notes along with them--and he would let them know if someone messed up the tempo or the notes. We would usually just smile to ourselves to listen to him--though occassionally we tried to find something else for him to do. G also gave his talk. He had most of his memorized too, and did a nice job. He heard T be advised from the judge that he should look around the room at different people, rather than just talking solely to the judge. So he was going to "one-up" his brother by doing that. I could see it in his eyes. Unfortunately, he made his mistake by looking at his older brother, who was still a little bitter about messing up his talk. I still do not know if T made a face at him or what, what I do know is that G got the giggles. This has proved to be catastrophic before, because usually he can't stop giggling! It only took him a few paragraphs until he got himself back together. At any rate, he was pleased to receive a blue ribbon for his work. They were running early, so we were pleased to be home by noon!!

The rest of the weekend was spent cutting the last load of firewood for the season (J is so pleased with the amount of money we saved this winter by using the new outdoor wood burning stove) and cleaning up around the yard. The daffodils are tall, the tulips are coming up in places that I had forgotten I planted them, hyacinths are still emerging, naked ladies are showing foliage, and the iris stalks are growing! The forsythia will be blooming within the next week or so, and my new inferno strip garden planted last fall seems to be all alive still.

Yesterday was spent going through bedrooms. Much as I hate that. T and D's room was indescribable!! We finally quit asking D to do stuff and were just glad that he found some other things outside to keep him busy. T and I worked for 4 hours sorting, cleaning, and throwing stuff away! I always swear that I will not help them if it gets beyond a certain point, but I always cave, because I know that it will not be cleaned to my expectations if I don't help/oversee. I must have been on a roll because then we headed down to G's room to weed through his stuff, and finally on to C's room to price the old clothes for a garage sale. Got her closet cleaned out too. Yippee!!

With that overdue task completed, that leaves me with just one more "put-off" task left. . .my scrapbook. I have had that thing laid out on my laundry counters for nearly a month now, working on it a little bit here and a little bit there. I have had several hours to work on it this past weekend and yesterday afternoon and evening. I have everything done up to Christmas--and in a few more evenings, that will be finished as well as catching up each kiddo's book for the last year. Last night I went to bed with the feeling that the weight of the world was nearly gone. I am feeling so refreshed and blessed that the mountain of "undone tasks" has nearly dissolved, and soon I will be able to focus solely on raising my family and keeping my life caught up, instead of always coming from behind!

We anticipate the visit from my sister and her family at the end of the week. We look forward to good food, good visiting, and good fun. We are planning to hang out at Exploration Place on Saturday and enjoying the day out! Don't forget that spring starts this week. HOORAY!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Greenhouse Update

This post is all about what is going on in my greenhouse these days, so I won't feel bad if you non-gardeners hop off now! I have a widget on my blog that tracks where my blog readers are from and how they found my site, whether directly typing it in, found from another blog, or from google. I have been entertained by that, and have discovered that my post from this past summer about the pitcher pump water feature recieves a lot of hits, mostly from people who google that term. When I wanted to put that fountain together, I googled for weeks looking for pictures and found very few ideas and even fewer that interested me! I am hopeful that people wishing to put in a feature like this are able to use my ideas to make something fun for their yard. I also looked forever for anyone in my zone that has a greenhouse to see what types of experiences they have. I found nothing. So I am hopeful that in the future, someone may be able to get useful information from my blunders and successes. But, aside from all that, my greenhouse excites me, and I enjoy writing about the cool things that are in there! Ready or not, here I come!!
Inspired by the trip to the garden show last weekend and the warmer spring-like weather, I was provoked to show some pictures of my greenhouse. I showed some pictures as we were building it, and some when we were finished, and even a few close-ups of some things in the greenhouse. But I haven't really shown any pictures to give you an idea about what the inside of it is really like. I have been waiting for my plants to be more mature, so it looks like what a greenhouse should look like. It is 9 1/2 feet by about 13 feet, and I have been very pleased so far with the size. I continue looking around to see what could be done to improve efficiency, or how I may want to handle things next winter.
The first indoor picture is looking toward the doors. I have an old table perched in there and use it as a work space. You can see above the one bench I have. I knew that I had save that old glass shower door for something. (Actually, I snuck it out to a hidey hole in between our garages so J wouldn't take it to the canyon cause I KNEW it would come in handy for SOMETHING!!) It works well enough to let some light through to the bottom plants--which are curled parsely, basil plants and a coleus cutting from the fall. Next to that you will see our high tech heating and irrigation system. The water is just a pipe coming out of the floor and J bought me a coiled hose to which I added my own water sprayer that I used in my outdoor garden (it has 7 or 8 different watering patterns--which has come in handy this week as I now use the mister to water my seeds) The heater?? A radiator looking thing tied on to a $7 box fan. .all wired up to a little thermometer screwed onto the greenhouse frame. Did I ever mention how handy my dear hubby is?? The lemon tree is in the very back corner, and has done remarkably well!! It blooms nearly constantly, with a scent so pungeant that I smell them immediately when opening my doors! Many of the little lemons fall off at a very small size, but I have 5 or so that are going to go ahead and mature. Check them out below!
The mandarin orange tree that I bought last fall will also be blooming soon too from the looks of it. I purchased those plants from Logee's mail order catalog. They were in great shape when they arrived and really have grown well (even while they were in the south window of the house). Most of all, they have been entertaining to watch!
This picture is of the south side next to the doors (which face east). You can see a couple planters with lettuce greens, several coleus cuttings, a small pot of lavender that I tried to propagate last fall hoping that it would root--it did, whoot whoot!! Also in that corner are three pots of tomatoes. I have never tried to grow determinate varieties of tomatoes before, mostly because I haven't needed to. These vines are pretty small and puny compared to my summer varieties. The black seaman variety is by far our favorite. It has the best texture and tomato flavor. I have 7 pots growing, but think that next year I will plant a few more pots. I am pleased with how they have done, considering that we are flying by the seat of our pants this first year.
The OCD part of my personality requires that I keep some notes, which is what I do in a little book found on my work table. Hopefully those notes will remind me from season to season what worked and didn't work. Above is the north side of the greenhouse. There are several more tomato plants back there, as well as 4 pepper plants--they happen to be from a mix of seeds that amazingly ONLY grew purple varieties--but they are yum delicious in flavor, so we aren't complaining. There is more lettuce there, the little mandarin orange tree, my sweet pea vine (the one with the yummy little purple flowers on it), and the big terra cotta pot that I bought at that auction for $4. I bought an elephant ear bulb at lowes last weekend and planted it in that pot. The bulb was the size of a large grapefruit--the ones at the garden show were triple that size (and also the price!) It is a new experiement, so we will see how it pans out. I have a new project in my head to fix a problem spot in my yard, so will hope to have photos in May or June to show you if it works or not!
Thus the tour of my greenhouse is complete. What'da think??
This plant was a new addition this weekend. Tristan has become a little obsessive with venus fly traps this winter. He bought the seeds from Hobby Lobby, which in reading the directions could take 1-3 months to sprout. I have been checking periodically and he has really been keeping it nice and moist and in good light. I saw some plants a few weeks ago at Lowes but didn't buy one. He was on me and on me though to go back this last weekend, so we did. They had several carnivorous plants and he decided on the small venus trap. There are a few flies and some other little knat things in the greenhouse, so he took it out there to eat and get big. I looked at him yesterday and his little jaws were wide open waiting. It will be fun to see it in action!
This is a beefsteak variety, they aren't getting really big, but they are tasty.
Sweet peas from seed, which I have not been able to grow up until now!! They will be pretty on the deck after the cold weather, where they might bloom a little longer!
We were able to enjoy the outdoors the other day, so I went to work cleaning out the tomato cages (I didn't do a thing after everything finally died off in November). That is until I scared out a nice little family of rats from under one of the cages. My screeching brought Jeremy to his shop doors to see the problem. Soon he reappeared with my birthday present (our birthday is the same day, coming up in a few weeks). He thought that it would be a good time to use it. Now, some women might get mad, but I was pretty excited to find him holding a new propane fueled weed burner up-per!! Oh man!! It has it's very own little striker thing to stick in the end of the burner. . .and Voila--BIG flames! After I got over the initial scare of using it, I would say it was quite fun to start tiny little fires all over the place and watch them burn. Now, it is actually for use to burn the stupid weeds in my yard and flower beds this summer, instead of dousing them with the probable cancer causing agents found in my weed sprays. Can't wait to try it out. Dana, if you need a father's day gift for Jamie, Jeremy could tell you where to get one. . he would LOVE it, probably even more than a rocket! :-) Anyway, hope ya'll enjoyed the greenhouse edition, and I sure hope no one sees me and my fire weeder on the evening news!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Garden Show Extravaganza

If you have never visited the Wichita Garden Show. . you don't know what you are missing!! I have missed the last two years but got to attend this year. It's a great way to welcome spring back to the neighborhood! One should be amazed at the exhibits brought in! Full size trees, mammoth boulders, and giant waterfalls can be found among thousands of blooming flowers and multiple tranquil ideas! I would LOVE, LOVE to live in a location that would be hospitable to lush, dense plantings like we find in these exhibits. Unfortunately, they would likely not fare too well in my hot, windy, dry climate!! Any who, I do get tons of ideas for things that I CAN pull off around here. . .Lucky for Jeremy, my partner in crime (whether he likes it, or NOT!).
The Kansas Farm Bureau Association sponsors a 4-H photography and horticulture judging class at the garden show. I jumped at the chance to take the boys. They started Friday night with classes for the kids about photography. I must say that even though I was a 4-H photography kid who used that knowledge with the school yearbook class, I have forgotten EVERYTHING that I learned concerning aperatures, and shutter speeds. I retained all the technique kind of stuff, but forgot anything technical. I am also relatively new to jump on board with digital cameras. I bought myself a new one last Christmas and got a middle road Canon powershot--which works very well for my needs. Next confession: I put the camera on auto and take pictures. . period. I may adjust it to the poor macro setting it has to get close up flower pictures, but other than that. . AUTO. So the classes that we sat through Friday night were on basic and advanced digital camera use. I was so excited to hear someone tell about all the functions my camera had that I forgot about after I read the manual. The boys have much cheaper cameras that Santa brought last year, and they have a significant number of these cool settings too. So they also learned some things. After the classes Friday night, we had an hour and a half for them to take pictures in the exhibit areas. The show was closed to the general public, which was very nice!

They shot a ton of pictures, many really bad ones, and some really good ones. I think that they both would have potential pictures for the fair. I also decided that we needed to get some time to just go out and take pictures in a relaxed setting, so we can play with those cameras. This opportunity was a little stressful in that, there were so many things to shoot, and so many things we heard about with changing settings and on and on, that it was pretty overwhelming!! I also decided that it much more fun to observe the garden show when you are not worrying about your children taking 5 million pictures of close up flowers or trying to show a grumpy tween how to move around and look for unusual angles. Hmmm, maybe that birthday party the night before wasn't SUCH a good idea after all!

At any rate, the boys loved the show and enjoyed the photo shoot. The picture above is one that Grant took using my camera. D didn't get to see any of the show until Saturday morning when the boys were doing the judging (luckily for us all, our friend Danny took him to do something else Friday night--he would have sent me over the edge by 10:00!). He was so much fun to watch. He couldn't imagine the scenes inside that building and he was just excited about it all! It really was a fun bonding experience for the four of us! So, if you ever get the chance to go check it out, you really can't imagine what it is like until you are standing at the foot of a 30 foot spruce trees looking at unbelievable water magic!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Up, Up, and Away!

You are looking at a family that is ready to see the spring!! We are generally outdoors kind of folks. . but I'll tell you, we haven't been out much this winter at all!! I am ALWAYS out by the end of January looking for life. . . and I found myself surprised on Friday to find daffodils with buds on them already! Shameful! Yesterday the boys and I were at the garden show (yes we had a GREAT time--the pictures will be up in the next couple days!) and the temperature was near 70 here with no wind. Today wasn't as nice--temp near 60, but breezy and cloudy. However, the boys had the afternoon planned working on the rockets we bought at Hobby Lobby yesterday.
Because of the breeze, you will notice that the first thing that happened was a little kite flying. Being the hopeless romantic gift giver that I am (NOT) the photo above is the Valentine gift that I blessed my husband with! Yes, it IS a Woody and Buzz Lightyear kite. The man has a love of flying kites. . .so when I saw them, I knew he would like that better than most anything else I would come up with. So I got that one and then a couple 1$ kites. . .Cinderella and a lizard if you want to be exact! So of course D and Cami were all about those too.

I didn't realize how much the big boys would want to fly kites!! Poor Tristan worked for an hour to make one out of a paperbag. . .you know, like they USED to do before they went to their friendly Walmart store weekly! The thing never did fly very well, but it was a good exercise for him. All it needed, according to the kite-flying guru, was a bigger tail. Hmmm, maybe next weekend.

They enjoyed flying them in the breeze for about an hour. After warming up inside for a bit, the wind died down, and Tristan had repaired the rocket he got for Christmas LAST year and never flew. . .because we never had time! So of course, we had to shoot that sucker off!!

D and G are both in rocketry this year as a 4-H project. D chose a small snap together rocket that is SO cute. It is together and they found some engines that would work from last Christmas--no kidding, we have a BOX of spare rocket parts! We didn't shoot it off today, but it is ready to go! They must shoot it off once before they can take it to the fair. We think we should do this early, in case one doesn't survive! G had to get one to put together himself. So he and his dad worked on that for a while today too. It is currently getting it's glue dried balanced on my paper towel holder standing on my bedroom dresser! He's already decided that he didn't glue the fin on quite right, so he may be making another one too! I have to confess now that these rockets can be costly if not found on sale. So I printed off the weekly internet coupon for Hobby Lobby four times. It was 40% off one regular price item. Since a customer can only use one coupon per day, I sent each child through the line with a rocket, money and a coupon. I was NOT embarrassed!

And there she goes!! Mom learned a few things about her camera at the camera classes too. . . like how to use continous shooting!